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Barns & Equipment

Whether using a tiestall, freestall, dry lot or pasture, here are some tips for cow comfort and maintaining farm facilities and equipment.

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With thousands of robots in place on North American dairies, barn layouts and designs are becoming more diverse. The key to robot success is for the producer to be passionate about the barn layout and make sure the design fits the goals of the dairy.

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Across the country, millions of acres of hay are baled or chopped every year. Nearly all of this hay needs to be gathered into a windrow to allow it to be picked up for harvest.

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What is one of the first things you notice as you drive by a dairy farm? Some might say the smell, but for even those outside of the industry, one of the first things you notice are the barns. They are the farm.

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We all know that cows are sensitive to heat stress, with cumulative, negative effects that compromise both cow productivity and farm profitability. It’s important that both humidity and temperature (THI) are taken into consideration when measuring heat stress levels because humidity will affect at what temperature cows become heat stressed.

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Dairy producers are aware of the negative implications heat stress can have on the lactating cow. However, the often-forgotten dry cow can also experience heat stress. This leads to several serious and long-term impacts on the cow’s overall health and productivity – and ultimately, dairy farm profits. Over the past decade, several university researchers have invested a great deal of time to further identify potential losses due to heat-stressed cows.

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The first question I usually ask a dairyman about his generator is: Who has done the maintenance in the past? They usually respond with, “I have a farm mechanic that is supposed to look after it, but he doesn’t know anything about generators and feels intimidated.

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